Aaron Rodgers’ 36-yard completion to Jared Cook – which set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning walk-off 51-yard goal in Dallas on Sunday – was about as filthy as it gets. The Cowboys had won seven straight home games, and in a blink of an eye, all because of Rodgers’ brilliance on a broken play, Dallas’ season ended, and Green Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.
“It was amazing,” Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That was an amazing throw. Going to his left, right-handed quarterback – and they’ve done that before. It seems like something they kind of practice, but still, it was one of those throws (where you thought), ‘All right, it’s going into overtime. Wait, wait. No, it’s not.’ What a throw.”
The Packers have won eight straight games, mostly because of Rodgers, who has 22 touchdowns (21 pass, one rush) to just one interception since Thanksgiving. He will lead Green Bay into Atlanta this Sunday for a rematch with the Falcons, who beat the Packers 33-32 on Oct. 30. Green Bay hasn’t lost since.
Kickoff is at 3:05 p.m. ET.
“It’s hard because he’s not only a pocket passer; he’s a guy who can throw the ball on the run,” Freeney said. “He is probably the best at making plays when a play is broken. So their first read isn’t there and all of a sudden it becomes street football. ‘Just run around, guys.’ And he finds ways to make those throws. So it’s tough to defend. You can’t just try to defend broken plays all the time. Just have awareness that that’s going to happen. From a rush standpoint, just get after him. You can’t predict where he’s going to be. He’s so unpredictable. That’s the good thing about him, but it also can be a detriment – and we hope that it can be a detriment more times than not. Sometimes when you do decide to hold on to the ball too long and do things, big plays happen. Fumbles happen. Sacks happen.”
Freeney also discussed Atlanta’s 36-20 thrashing of Seattle on Saturday. Has the Seahawks’ era of dominance ended?
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Freeney said. “Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about them. I didn’t think about them. I know what we did. I know how much we put in. I know how well we execute. (What happened) wasn’t so much (because of) them; it was us. I think we just out-executed and played a better game than they did. Who knows? If we didn’t play well, they could have won and we’d still be talking about the Seattle Seahawks. But I feel like them losing wasn’t (because) they were older; (it was about) how well we executed and played and why we’re in this position. I have no idea when their era (will be over).”